Lawyers are scheduled to make their opening statements Monday in the murder trial of Anthony Pratt Jr., a New York man accused of killing his married lover, whose body was found last year in a parked vehicle in a Portland motel parking lot.

Pratt, 21, is accused of fatally shooting 29-year-old Margarita Fisenko Scott of Westbrook once in the neck inside a Portland apartment on Nov. 10, 2012. But it wasn’t until Jan. 17, 2013, that her husband found her body in the back of a snow-covered Chevrolet Trailblazer at Motel 6 on Riverside Street.

Pratt’s two attorneys and two prosecutors spent all day Friday in the Cumberland County Courthouse trying to select 15 jurors, including three alternates. They will resume their efforts with the presiding judge, Justice Thomas Warren, to pick the final jurors Monday morning before Pratt’s trial begins.

Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber will make the opening statements for the prosecution. He said Saturday that he and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese expect to call the state’s first witnesses against Pratt after a lunch break Monday.

Witnesses at the trial are expected to testify about Scott’s upbringing in a close-knit family that emigrated in waves from Kazakhstan, her marriage less than a year before her death, and the swift dissolution of that marriage as she was pulled deeper into addiction and the world of Portland drug dealers, who used her for sex and money.

Pratt’s attorneys, Peter Cyr and Dylan Boyd, framed their defense plans during a hearing last week, saying that other people’s DNA was found on the murder weapon, not Pratt’s, and that evidence shows one of them, also not Pratt, had sex with Scott shortly before she was killed.


Prosecutors suggested at the hearing last week that they will call expert witnesses to testify, including a medical examiner to speak about how Scott died and a ballistics analyst to talk about the possible trajectory of a bullet from the .40-caliber handgun that killed her.

Scott’s death remained a mystery for weeks after her body was found, as Portland police detectives began to piece together her movements during the time she periodically left her husband and returned to their Westbrook home.

Police learned that she had been living temporarily at a West Concord Street apartment with accused drug dealer Christopher Jennings and his wife, Tunile, and their two children. Pratt, who knew Jennings from his home in New York, also stayed at the apartment.

The key piece of evidence in the case against Pratt appears to be a piece of chewing gum and white paper used to plug a bullet hole in the apartment. That gum and paper both had Pratt’s DNA evidence on them, according to court records.

Cyr and Boyd contend that jurors should consider the Jenningses as suspects in the murder, because Tunile Jennings had threatened to kill Scott if she had sex with her husband. Police evidence in the case shows that Scott and Christopher Jennings did have sex despite his wife’s warning.

Pratt has pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder and has been held without bail since his arrest in New York in April 2013.

Neither Christopher nor Tunile Jennings has been charged in connection with Scott’s death.

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